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Ding Liren clinches Chessable Masters 2022, Praggnanandhaa delivers stupendous performance

by Shahid Ahmed - 27/05/2022

Praggnanandhaa needed to win the second set of the Finals to keep his chances. He managed to do that without losing a single game. The only loss he faced was in the second Blitz tie-break game. He was completely winning the first one. The 16-year-old not only shined and impressed the entire chess universe but also ensured that he is ready to face the challenge against the very best of the world. He is the only player in this event who managed to beat Ding Liren twice. The scoreboard may show that he finished as the runner-up, however, the real winner by making the most out of his opportunity is certainly Praggnanandhaa. He has also climbed to the second position in the Tour standings with an earning of US$ 61250 so far. Photo: chess24

Praggnanandhaa can handle pressure and the World's best

Praggnanandhaa becoming a regular player at the 2022 season of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour has been a huge boost for him. He played brilliantly at the Oslo Esports Cup last month. Now he was forged in fire in the Chessable Masters 2022 Final against World no.2 Ding Liren. Not to forget, this is the same event where he beat Carlsen for the second time in his career, exactly three months after his first win. The teenager also had to take his board exam before the first set of the Final.

Praggnanandhaa finishes second at Chessable Masters 2022 | Photo: chess24

Ding Liren is the winner of Chessable Masters 2022 | Photo: chess24

Ding Liren - Praggnanandhaa: 1.5-2.5 (TB 1.5-0.5)

The first game of the second set ended in a draw. Praggnanandhaa struck first in the second game.

Praggnanandhaa - Ding Liren, Game 2

Position after 45.Rc3

It is well-known that the combination of rook and bishop in the endgame is preferred than rook and knight, especially in an open position. However, Black decided to trade the bishop 45...Bxe2+ 46.Kxe2. It only helped White because his king is more advanced, has an extra pawn and getting rid of the knight for the bishop is definitely a good trade. Soon White arrived at a completely winning position after some more inaccuracies by Black.

Position after 58...Rc5+

58...Rc5+ was the final mistake by Black as it became a point of no return. 59.Kb4 Rd5 60.e4 it was important not to create too many pawn islands. 60...Re5 61.Ka5 Rxe4 62.Kxb5 and rest is just a matter of technique which Praggnanandhaa had no trouble converting into a full point. Praggnanandhaa gained a 0.5-1.5 lead.

The third game once again restores the fact that Praggnanandhaa can hold his own even against World no.2 in the Finals.

Ding Liren - Praggnanandhaa, Game 3

Position after 31...exf4

Black had two rooks for a queen. However, the position demanded Black to get rid of White's knight for his rook. Praggnanandhaa obliged 31...exf4 32.Nxc8 Rxc8 33. Qxf4 Nc2 and soon White ended up having connected passed pawns on the queenside. Many strong adults might get rattled to take such complex decisions, but the 16-year-old does not.

Position after 37...Bxc4

While it may seem that rook and two minor piece should be relatively easier to play, the passed pawns combined with two pawns does not make it so. Praggnanandhaa played bravely and managed to hold the position for a draw. The score became 1-2 which means Praggnanandhaa needed a draw in the fourth game to force tie-breaks.

Praggnanandhaa managed to draw the fourth game comfortably. Thus, he won the second set of the Finals 1.5-2.5. It was time for the Blitz tie-breaks. He was completely winning the first Blitz tie-break game.

Praggnanandhaa - Ding Liren, Tie-break 1

Position after 52...Ra4

53.Rd1 and it would have been over for Black. Instead, 53.Rb1 was played and Black managed to save the game 53...Bxa7. The game meandered into a draw.

Ding Liren won the second Blitz tie-break game, thus he won the second set and the Finals.

Final moments - Ding Liren vs Praggnanandhaa | Video: ChessBase India
"Pragg has the potential to become a Top Player"- Ding Liren on Praggnanandhaa | Video: ChessBase India

Praggnanandhaa was inducted into the Indian Oil

Apart from Praggnanandhaa, Ding Liren also had to deal with flies and mosquitoes.

Replay the live stream

Chessable Masters 2022 Finals Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal along with various guests | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Final 2 games

Final 2 results

Praggnanandhaa won the second set of the Finals, lost the match only in tie-breaks | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 22nd and 28th April 2022.

Knockout brackets

Chessable Masters 2022 Knockout Brackets | Photo: chess24

Tour standings

Praggnanandhaa climbed to the second spot in the Tour standings | Photo: chess24

Links

Official site

Tournament regulations


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